Saundra (Sandi) Rae Winkler (Hummer) Bio

From Herman Brown, April 18, 2011:

The following text I found on the Internet, shortly after Sandi passed away, 

Sandi was very active on jazz-oriented blogs, so below the next two links are just a few of her postings.

More at

Plus this, the AAJ Saundra Hummer Project:

From Jazz News, March.11, 2005:

I grew up in Hermosa Beach and went to the Lighthouse a lot starting in January of 1953 when I was just 15. I had to walk on crutches because of a long bout of problems with my foot, bad enough, that the doctors were wanting to amputate my leg. Worrying about losing it was hard to take as a 13 year old. I truly believe being able to go to the Lighthouse was a kind of lifesaver for me, the fellows and their music. I believe some of them realized this, and so there were special little kindnesses. In other words, they put up with me. Ha! The Lighthouse and the music from there just became a big and important part of my life.

Being home alone while my parents worked -- to make things bearable -- I would be off to the Lighthouse or to the beach to swim, ride my bike or - all three - all after my home teacher had left at 10:30 in the morning; this being how it was for me, especially if I knew that Miles Davis was in town. He spent a long time there, "hiding out" Howard wrote - so it was fun getting to know Miles, John Coltrane, Elvin Jones and others. Being able to catch their practice sessions -- which was totally unique for a 15 year old -- is something I still treasure.

Besides the music, there were some funny and interesting times. Especially when Miles heard Chet Bakers version of a song he had planned on releasing come up on the juke box, just as he was warming up to play, a practice session. The look on his face was unbelievable and he lept off the bandstand and was slowly reeling about looking at everyone, saying Chet had stolen his charts, that there had to be a spy, and demanding to know who it was. Stan Levey had to come from his home in Manhattan Beach to remove it from the juke box, as they couldn't find the other key, all of this before Miles even showed a hint of calming down.

Getting to know Charlie Parker, John Coltrane, Frank Rosolino,Stan Levey, Sonny Clark, Clifford Brown, Richie Powell, Zoot Simms, Clark Terry, Leroy Vinegar, Coleman Hawkins Milt Hinton, and Bill Perkins was great, some had said they were writing songs about me, whether they did, I never learned. They were all special to me as well. Later on, there were some of the younger fellows, like Charles Lloyd, George Stearns, Charlie Shoemake who I met during Easter Week in 1957, however, only knowing them slightly, and then there was Don Joham, who was a special friend, and an extremelly talented drummer. There were so many that were so interesting to be around and they all had such special ways.

I have to mention my day with Lester Young because it was an exceptionally special time for me, which is another funny story. This time it involved Mingus, Sonny Stitt, Mal Waldron, & the fallen & falling down delapidated Hermosa Beach Pier -- which Mingus thought Lester had fallen through, saying he had visions of his hat floating in the surf.. The three of us, Lester, Mingus and myself ended up laughing till there were tears, but Sonny and Mal were in a snit.

These times at the Lighthouse, and the men who played there, made it a very special place and time for me, and it makes one wish you could "go home again".

There was just so much talent and musical wonders which were part and parcel of the Lighthouse experience, music and happenings which were happening on any given day or night, especially with the sit-ins, which, believe me, were astounding. The show of talent and inspiration coming from them was just something to see and hear. Zoot Simms or Charlie Parker could blow you away, A once in a lifetime happening. There was so much going on as to be unbelievable, and there were many more musicians who seemed like regulars than I'm relating. It's hard to even share and have the wonderment of it known and understood. There was just so much going on.

One special time I remember is, buying a ticket for Wayne Shorter at the Hermosa Beach Theater, as he thought they wouldn't sell one to him. We were all going to see the 'Red Balloon' before Wayne's group started playing that night, and he, having heard us talking said he would like to see it and asked more about it. He was saying it sounded interesting. We, my girlfriend and me left, walked across the street, then down and around the corner to the show. While standing around waiting for the theater to open the ticket booth, we looked over and there stood Wayne,.... fearing buying a ticket - thinking he would be turned down - well no way, not in Hermosa Beach. We tried to convince him that he'd do just fine, that things like that just didn't happen in our town.. We did buy his ticket, we invited him to sit with us, but he sat behind us & two over, saying that was the wise thing to do. We all ended up going back a second time, as it was such a terrific little movie, and that time he bought ours and we all sat together.. Too cute. Another one of the good guys, another one of the good times.

John Levine is one I will always miss -- him sitting at the end of the bar. He looked like a permanent fixture, and when he didn't show up - it were as if the place were out of whack. Really! I just loved him. He and Howard ran a terrific ship, and it was their insight and little kindnesses which made it nice for everyone who ever walked in the door. These two great guys, and the music went hand in hand, and there will never be another place quite like it -- I am sure of this. They are all missed by me. The Lighthouse, John Levine, Howard, Stan Levey, Clark Terry, Bill Evans, Sonny Rollins, Max Roach, Frank Rosolino and so many others, and as you can tell, they all have a special place in my memories.

It's as though every famous and the most talented of musicians alive stood on that stage at one time or another and played their hearts out. For the life of me, I can't find it in me to go back in whenever I'm down there, as the disappointment would be palpable, and the sadness would be too much I'm afraid.

What a time we all had anytime we walked in the door, there was always an excitement associated with going there, as one never knew what great musical event was about to fill our senses.

I sure do miss everyone and the Lighthouse -- the way it was -- with all of the people who were part of it. Such a close intimate experience. Such a great bunch of fellows. The music? ..... Well I'm thankful that there's quite a bit still around. Luckily there are recordings for us to remember many of them by, all recorded with the sound of the crowd, and it is so much fun to remember being part of the din on the days and nights they recorded live at the Lighthouse.

Lighthouse Girl

From All About Jazz, February 2011:

One of the photo's is always popping up on the web, it's called "Lighthouse Girl". I had forgotten all about it and didn't realize it was of me until a friend pointed it out. A terribly cold, wind night, I'm bundled up, and freezing, the wind blowing me back against the entry wall. I had sat my crutches just inside the door, but you can tell by my foot that it's me. It took the photographer the longest time to shoot it as the wind kept blowing him off balance, and was tearing up his eyes as well. So he went into a store front gallery and shot it from there. I couldn't even tell it was me as I always wear bangs and the wind had blown them back flat on my head. It's me, and I didnt' want to pose for it, but Stan, Frank and Howard insisted I do it, as they didn't want another older woman who was there to do it as they used to get upset with her. She kept telling the photographer she would do it instead of me. But, finally after about an hour, I relented. I don't have a copy of it, and it's everywhere. 

From, March 15, 2006: 

In 1957, I went up to Falcon Lair with Don Joham and LeRoy Vinegar after hours, after picking up his bass at Diggers in East L.A. Actually, we went there a few times, all after hours, always leaving from the Lighthouse in Hermosa Beach, which is where I lived. We always had to leave a bit early just to be sure to get to Los Angeles before Diggers closed, as LeRoy had to have his bass to play at Joes.

LeRoy and Don were always afraid I would fall on the stairway up over the garage, so each of them would put their arms around my waist and carry me, helping me all the way up the stairs as they were so steep and slick with moisture. I was on crutches and they were so afraid I would fall. 

Once inside, I just remember all of the crystal sparkling in the dim light, the cigars, and the overstuffed chairs. LeRoy took me on a mini tour downstairs in the main part of the house, us laughing about the suit of armor in the hallway. We had always wanted to flip up a visor in one, so we did. He was a special fellow you know. No one nicer.

I am curious as to the recordings that you haven't released. Would there any that were from April of 1957 to June that might have LeRoy and Don Joham on them? Or any others featuring Don Joham as drummer or pianist? He even played guitar once in a while, so he might be on one as well. 

Don was injured in a robbery and his career was ended in 1976, so it would all have to have been before that time. His family and myself have been on a long and futile search for his music. I never saw Don set up his kit when playing there, so he may never have played there, unless someone else set theirs up and he used theirs. What terrific times those were. I know there were times I just fell asleep as I was fighting bone infection in my foot and at that time it was flaring up and it oftentimes made me tire a bit. 

If you could get in touch about this even if you don't have any information, it would be terrific, as we would like to know if there is anything at all about Don. 

Thank you and it's been fun thinking about Falcon Lair and all of the fellows. I was all of 18 when going there. A fun time.

From, September 23, 2010:

Hello Clark (Terry),

This post is in response to Rich Pulin’s note to you. His thoughts brought up my own memories, some great ones I might add.

Some of the best times for me were when you pulled your flugelhorn from its case, its gleaming silver patina getting another gentle polish with your whitest of white handkerchiefs, like a baby is how you treated it, sweet and tender. The melodies you coaxed from it were unbelievable, I always made sure to stick around for when you’d play it whenever I saw you carry it up to the bandstand. It was a great treat to have been lucky enough to have seen and heard you play it over the years.


I grew up watching Clark Terry work his magic at the Lighthouse in Hermosa Beach. I started going there as a 15 year old. 

I had a home teacher part of the time, as I was fighting Osteomyelitis and had more free time on my hands than imaginable. All of my friends were in school, or they had to be home early at night as they had to get up so early for school.

Often times, no one would be home at my house, so I would head to the beach, the library, or to the Lighthouse, as jazz had become a compulsion for me. I was so involved in it, and knowing the fellows who played; our very best, this in the early to late 1950's to 1964, which made it special to a teen aged kid. Even at my age I got the importance of what these jazz men were contributing to the music world, the world of jazz. Their personalities and talent were huge. 

As a 13 year old I’d been told that my leg had to be amputated, so going to sleep was oftentimes hard to do. I couldn’t live with that thought for the longest time. Anyway, if things were going badly, I had my favorite people and places I liked to go to just to cheer up, then too, if days were good, I’d head to the beach, go out with friends, and/or to the Lighthouse, just to have fun. There were times when Clark would ask if he could join me at my table for his cup of coffee when he was on his break. Always the gentleman, and always the one to put a smile on our faces. Actually, I had more fun during those years than should have been allowed. Great friends, and, greater can be imparted music. Thinking of Clark being so full of cheer and kindness makes me smile each and every time I hear his name, orm whenever I have memories of those days pop up, for whatever reason. Started thinking of Clark today so looked up this site. 

I always thought that Clark should have had the Tonight Show’s band leader spot. Talk about being disappointed, I was that when it went to Doc. At least they used his arrangements much of the time. I had no idea that NBC had been so racist. Floors me that, it was, that, that was how it was. Their loss wasn’t it?

Hope all is going well for you Clark. I think of you often and wish the very best for you and your’s. You were a good friend to me when it was more important than you’ll ever know.

Miss so many of you, and you are at the top of the group of jazz men who were important to me Mr. Terry! I just want you to know this. I believe you already do know, as I keep reminding you don’t’ I?